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EIRNS/Lorna Gerlach
Amelia Boynton Robinson in Seattle.

Amelia Boynton Robinson
Changes Seattle

by Riana St. Classis
LaRouche Youth Movement

Related Pages
(Including Sound Files)

Amelia Boynton Robinson Changes Seattle

by Riana St. Classis      
LaRouche Youth Movement

SEATTLE, Nov. 16 (EIRNS)—A pair of stanzas in Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, “When Melindy Sings,” kept coming to my mind during Amelia Boynton Robinson's trip to Seattle:

Ain’t you nevah hyeahd Malindy?
     Blessed soul, tek up de cross!
     Look hyeah, ain't you jokin',
     Well, you don't know whut you
     Y’ ought to hyeah dat gal
     Robins, la'ks, an' all dem things,
     Heish dey moufs an' hides dey
     When Malindy sings.

     Fiddlin' man jes’ stop his
     Lay his fiddle on de she’f;
     Mockin’-bird quit tryin’ to
     ‘Cause he jes’ so shamed hisse’f.
     Folks a-playing’ on de banjo
     Draps dey fingahs on de strings--
     Bless yo’ soul—fu’gits to move
     When Malindy sings.

Hushed and Bashful

When people heard Amelia speak, they changed. They reacted like the mockin’-bird in Dunbar’s poem; they hushed and turned bashful. People were rivetted, hanging on every word she said, crouching in to hear better, though she wasn’t quiet, despite her age (90-something!). In the face of the fear and cowardice of her audience, of great controversy, of having venues cancelled at the last minute, in the face of poor treatment of the LaRouche organizers who had arranged the events, she calmly praised LaRouche and the Schiller Institute.

“When I first met LaRouche’s organization, they told me about their plans to develop Africa and their plans to attack the drug problem in the cities, and I thought Martin Luther King would have liked that. I asked people if they knew of Lyndon LaRouche: ‘Well, I heard.... Well, I heard....’ they would say.” Then she paused, looking straight at the audience, and continued, “all these people had heard about Lyndon LaRouche, and not one person knew a thing about him!” Then she addressed their fear and their littleness by telling them about the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965, “Bloody Sunday,” where she was beaten and could have died.

When her talk elicited the excited and venomous declaration, by a youth, that perhaps we should take up arms to fight the system “from the outside,” she talked about David and Goliath, again discussing how one overcomes fear. Without belittling him, she pointed out that his response was a fearful one. Without becoming angry, he calmed down and became more reflective.

EIRNS/Lorna Gerlach
Amelia Boynton Robinson in dialogue with the LaRouche Youth Movement.
At a community college burdened with an aging socialist faculty, Amelia was scheduled to address a class whose professor was obviously very nervous about LaRouche and his youth movement. He would not allow one of us to introduce Amelia, but he would allow a small chorus to sing a Spiritual. Our singing, particularly on this campus, has been seen as a “key indicator that we are a cult.” Normally, our singing would have been followed by a chorus of nervous twitters and snide remarks. When the chorus finished, Amelia looked around to the class and asked, “now, wasn’t that Beautiful?” In the face of Amelia’s loving and open smile, the students lost their personas and let their humanity shine forth. “Yes,” they nodded, like small children, “yes, that was beautiful.”

Guardian Angels

I had the privilege of being one of Amelia’s two “guardian angels.” We agreed that she would always have one of us near by, should she need anything, and that we would be sure that she was never alone at the house in which she stayed. One morning, most everyone living at the house had gone, when I arrived. I knocked on the door, which was near Amelia’s room. I heard her call out, “Yes?” But she didn’t hear my reply. I knocked again and a last person let me in. Just then, Amelia opened her bedroom door, brandishing her cane. “Oh! I thought I heard everyone leave. I thought you might be a robber (we had told her earlier that the house, which was on a secluded street, had been broken into twice.) I was going to get you with my cane!” Amelia was obviously tickled by the whole thing; later she told the story to her other “angel.” When she said she thought she was alone at the house, her listener protested, “Amelia, we would never have left you alone at the house!” “Hungh,” Amelia snorted, “I can take care of myself. If she had been a robber, I would have knocked her out with my cane and waited for the police to come.” She laughed so heartily, we knew she was telling the truth.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend time with this amazing woman. No one who came in contact with her will ever be the same. Those who missed her, were afraid of her, shunned her, just don’t know what they’ve lost. Amelia wasn’t afraid when she marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and now she isn’t afraid of robbers, Dick Cheney, nor slanders about Lyndon Larouche. She is a beautiful soul, a fearless warrior for the truth, a rare treasure, as one of my friends kept repeating.

Related Articles

What is the Schiller Institute?

Meet Amelia Boynton Robinson:

Hear Amelia Boynton Robinson in Seattle:

Addressing the LaRouche Youth Movement student meeting, Nov. 9, 2005
Part 1
Part 2

North Seattle CC, Nov. 10, 2005

Edmonds CC, Nov. 10, 2005

Addressing a Town Hall Meeting, Nov. 12, 2005,
Part 1
Part 2

Message From Amelia Robinson on 40th Selma March Anniversary

Amelia Robinson Biography

Through The Years A Three-Act Drama and Musical
by Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson

Dialogue of Cultures

Writings of Other Great Thinkers

Biography of Friedrich Schiller

Books and Videos


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